Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Friday! Friday! Friday!

Good Friday morning! We made it folks, it’s Friday… Take a breath and know that the weekend is only hours away.

For me, I’m looking forward to some writing this weekend. Plus, my 30-year class reunion is tomorrow evening. Wow, have I been out of school for 30 years? I’m getting old…. Nah!

The final edits for Breakwater Lane are coming in today, which makes me smile. It’s hard to believe that it’s almost out. This morning I’m getting my word count in on Promises Forgotten. At the moment I’m deep in Indians and 1800’s Montana. I love being a writer. I can get lost in another world, if for a moment.

So, what are you planning this weekend?

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…

 

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Creating a new series…

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The birth of a new series is always fun and exciting, but scary all at the same time. Will it hold together for the number of books planned? Will the characters stay interesting or just lose interest?

With Wishful Harbor, I’ve thought of this for a while, a long while. I’ve had this series in my mind, but it wasn’t until I sat down and started mapping it out that I realized that it could work. And when I say mapped it out, I truly mean I drew a map of the town of Wishful Harbor. I placed each place that would take part in the series and put it in the front of the series notebook for reference.

There will be five books, each one can stand alone or work together. I’ve written a synopsis for each book, even named the main characters.

But, will it hold the test of five books?

The way that I’ve assured this is that each book can stand alone. That’s how I know it will hold together. Each story has its own world held within the little town of Wishful Harbor. Although there will be repeat characters, and there will be repeat locations, the main story and characters will lead the story. That’s what makes it work in this instance.

Keep looking out for the cover reveal for the first book in the series, ‘Breakwater Lane’. I’ll be doing a huge reveal blog and have some exciting things to give away. There will be a more definite date soon, but let’s just say, it’s coming soon…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Life…As a Writer

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Good morning! Hope everyone had a great, productive weekend. Let’s make the best of the week ahead.

Life as a writer is sometimes crazy. There are stories running through our heads at every turn. Some days it’s hard to do my day job because a character is knocking on my brain, wanting out. But, when I finally sit down to let the character out, they are stubbornly sitting there with arms crossed refusing to come out.

Then, when you get a couple of days to do some serious writing, everything else has to be done. I try to do social media posts and write on weekday mornings. Of course, I need to train myself to wait on the social media posts until after I’ve written my designated word count for the day. Social media is like a leech, it sucks the time out of the morning.

What’s fun is when you have a great story come into your mind, but you’re in the grocery store… LOL! That’s why I have notes¬†on my phone. Usually, I’ll stop where I am and at least get the basics down, if not, I’ll forget them until a much later time.

Oh, and then you have a deadline, but also a list of things to be completed. That’s when you get creative with your time. Even eating breakfast while typing. Ok, so my laptop has crumbs in the keyboard, but it still works.

So, how do you juggle things?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You….


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Editing is like Detoxing for writers!

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Good morning! As you can see, I’m eating healthy. This week I’m doing a mild Grapefruit detox, trying to get the bad stuff out of my system so I can jumpstart this summer weight loss. So far it’s working, but we’ll see…

Editing… That word that writers have a love-hate¬†relationship with. But if you think about it, Editing is like detoxing the work. When we write, we go straight to the point of the matter, but sometimes, we need to take a step back. We need to analyze what we’ve written.

Take for example: Words misused or misspelled. If left to sit in the gut of the manuscript, it will weigh your work down. Here’s a piece of advice from someone that sent out a piece of work that had some extra unwanted weight, for this example we’ll call it sludge. Don’t let your baby go out without making sure everything is clean and ready. I sent out a manuscript, to the world, and it wasn’t ready. Some of the comments were nice, but held a little advice, ‘go back and edit’. They all said it was a good story, but it needed to be looked at again to make it a great story. Needless to say, this was in the first year of my publishing career.

So… I went into detox mode. I sat down with my manuscript, printed in double space and a red pen. Yes, a horrid, red pen. A writer’s nightmare, but I took a deep breath and did it. I actually cringed with the first page and it got worse from there. I printed every comment I received and used them as a guideline. As I delved deeper into the story, the sludge was so heavy that I couldn’t believe I’d actually sent this out into the world.

Needless to say, I almost used up all the ink in the pen. Now, don’t get me wrong, the story itself stayed the same, but the wording was a little different. I gave it a lot of grapefruits, I mean editing and to my surprise, when I sent it back out as a revised edition, some of the same people reviewed it again. They loved it. I’d taken the heavy bags of sludge that kept my story from taking flight and it became a bestseller within a couple of weeks.

So, when you finished your masterpiece, go back through it again and again. Then send to your editor. If you can’t afford an editor, then you have to be the chief and pull on your gloves. Make the hard choices, delete the bad grammar, and make your work soar!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Can’t sleep…then write!

Good Monday morning! It’s rainy and dreary here in Georgia, so I’m half asleep and needing a nap…

Have you ever had a night where no matter what you did, sleep just wouldn’t come? I had one of those last night. Finally, after tossing and turning for over an hour, I got up. I wasn’t in the mood to watch television, so I wrote. It’s amazing how well your mind works in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep. I finished a chapter and started another.

As I sat in the quiet of the night, not a sound from anywhere, I wrote. Even though sleep wouldn’t come into my brain, the story flowed like a river in the rain, freely… Finally, after I got that part of the story out of my head, I was able to close my laptop, walk to the bedroom and fall asleep. Needless to say, I feel sleep deprived this morning, but I was able to further my story…

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…

 


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Beginning…???…Ending

Has this ever happened to you? You sit down with a story in mind and it’s a great story. You know it like you know yourself. Your fingers hover over the keyboard. The words flow easily from your fingertips. Everything is good with the world, then snap… something happens and you stop writing. The words are gone…

This happened to me recently. I was working on a manuscript that I’ve been trying to finish for some time and it was going along good, then …………. Yep, that’s how it went, nothing. It’s like I had the beginning and the ending, but the middle was a huge, gaping black hole. I couldn’t see it for nothing. The sad thing is, I had it completely outlined, but the middle part wouldn’t come together, at all.

So, you might ask, what did I do? Well, here’s what I did and if you’ve ever experienced this black hole, I hope it helps you too. Of course, this is not a tried and true method…

1: I stepped back. I looked at the screen before me and it was blank, just as the story had gone in my head. That’s when I took a deep breath, stood up and walked away from my laptop. I had to put distance between me and the story. That’s not easy to do when the characters are screaming loudly in your head.

2: After a cup of coffee to clear my head, I picked up the outline, knowing there had to be a way to get this story flowing again. I knew I had it right there in the outline, but it refused to come out. So, I read the outline, several times, but nothing.

3: In complete frustration, I put aside the notes, outline, and anything to do with the story. Now, don’t think the characters were quiet. No, they were ticked off at this point. They were screaming so loud, that I had to do something, so I started the next manuscript that was in line on my schedule. It helped quiet them somewhat, but they were still pulling at me.

4: As I worked on the other manuscript, pieces of the other story filled my head. You as writers know all too well the problems that can cause. I pulled out my notebook for the other story and as things came filtering through, I wrote them down. But, I didn’t work on it, I just jotted down notes. Pretty soon I had a couple of pages of notes.

5: Then, one morning as I sipped my coffee, scanning through my emails, social media, and work in progress, getting ready to start my writing session, it came flowing in. At first, I was afraid to give it a chance. I was afraid that if I got started again and it quit, I’d end up chucking it altogether. But, that’s when it hit me, write the ending. So, that’s what I did. I wrote the ending that I knew so well in my head. The moment I hit the end, I knew the middle as though it had been lurking there the whole time, it just needed the guts to move forward. Once I knew where the story was headed, the middle came in so fast that my fingers could hardly keep up.

So, sometimes you have to iron out the ending to get to the guts of the story. That’s what happened with ‘Highlanders Son’. I had to know that my characters would be alright and that the story would hold up. Once I finished the first draft, I could breathe again. It was done.

I’ve written things in the wrong order before, but never because it was the only way to finish the story. Most of the time I do it because the ending comes to me louder than the beginning, but it’s always there. With Highlander’s Son, it wasn’t there anymore. I had to get it back straight in my mind. The funny thing was, once it was completed, I looked at my outline and it was just as I’d envisioned it, to begin with. With a smile, I printed it, handed it to my editor and knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt that if that happened again, I’d immediately go to step five above and finish the story…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

“Highlander’s Son” is coming soon…

highlanders son front cover


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Coffee…Writing…More Coffee

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Good morning! Are any of you having a hard time getting awake this morning? I’m struggling after the three day weekend. It was a great holiday, but my body and mind seem to still be on vacation.

Oh well, this will be a pot of coffee morning…. I’m working on getting my word count in this morning. I finished Highlander’s Son last week and hope to finish Lacey’s Choice this week. Both of these books have been in the works for a couple of months, so I’m trying my best to get caught back up. Tax season really slammed me this year and it affected my writing like no other year has.

It doesn’t help that my two new series ‘Sky Ridge’ and ‘Wishful Harbor’ are knocking on my mind, wanting to stay inside. Every time I push them back for a day or so, they jump back in with full force and win. But this week, I plan to finish a couple of in-process manuscripts before I go back to the newest ones. Let’s just hope I do.

So, what are you working on this week?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…